PC Components, Peripherals And Gadget Reviews And News

Dig into our deep-dive product reviews and news of PC components from processors, to motherboards, graphics cards (GPUs), sound cards, and storage, along with other gadgets and peripherals that complete the computing experience. Whether you're a DIY PC enthusiast builder or just looking to read-up on what should be inside or connected to your next pre-built PC, here's where you'll find all the nuts and bolts sorted on what makes modern computer systems tick, as well some of the best user interface devices to go with them.

Long-time enthusiast will remember the Corsair Hydro H50. It was one of the first closed-loop water coolers on the market and it changed the game. Though the H50 was popular at the time of its release, it was a bit of a head-scratcher, because its performance and installation weren't ideal. Consumers bought it up though, and AIO water coolers were off and running. That was Corsair's first entry into the market, however, and things have gotten considerably better since. It seems as if each new AIO liquid-cooler released by Corsair has improved on their original designs, so much so that closed loop coolers are performing at levels approaching much more expensive custom water cooling loops. In the... Read more...
Like a handful of other recently-released solid state drives that feature QLC (quad-level cell) NAND flash memory, the Crucial P1 series is designed to be a relatively high-performing, but still affordable storage option, versus legacy SATA-based solutions. When it initially arrived, the Crucial P1’s MSRPs didn’t necessarily reflect this design goal, but now that availability has ramped and street prices have settled, the Crucial P1 could represent a significant upgrade for users still hobbling along with slower storage or planning a new, budget-friendly build, and it won't break the bank. We’ve got the Crucial P1’s main features and specifications outlined in the table... Read more...
Intel recently launched a Core i7-8086K Limited Edition processor, based on the company’s Coffee Lake architecture, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the venerable 8086. Although it wasn’t the first microprocessor employed in personal computers, the Intel 8086 laid the foundation for the x86 architecture, which has been at the core of virtually all “IBM compatible” or “Win-Tel” PCs released since. Before we talk about where Intel is going with Core i7-8086K, however, we need to discuss where it has been. Intel put together this infographic highlighting the major advancements made in processor design and manufacturing over the last 40 years. As you... Read more...
Corsair's line-ups of K70 and Strafe mechanical gaming keyboards have been on the market now for quite some time. The Strafe is a more streamlined speedster for performance freaks and the K70 a more full-featured deck with ultra-premium build quality. We recently looked at Corsair's K70 Lux RGB in a 5-way round-up and the board walked away with our Editor's Choice award. Today, fresh off its Computex 2018 unveil, Corsair returns to our lab with buffed-up and decked-out versions of the K70 and Strafe, both sporting some disco RGB goodness, but now in their MK.2 (pronounced Mark 2) incarnations, with new features, the same killer build quality, and a bit more bling. Corsair set the bar with the... Read more...
We have been experimenting with AMD’s Ryzen 5 processors here at HotHardware and while they have already proven to be a great value, we wanted to explore some different mainstream cooling options to see what kind of additional goodness we could extract from the processors. All-in-one liquid coolers are not quite as nice looking or as potentially high-performance as a custom built system that can employ hard line tubing and multi-waterblock arrangements, but they are still a step up from many air coolers and don’t require the same hefty investment. This makes all-in-one liquid coolers very appealing for mid-range gaming setups where maximizing performance per dollar is often the goal.... Read more...
For long-time enthusiasts that were around during the ascent of personal computers, the Commodore Amiga remains one of the most beloved systems of all time. When it was originally released back in the mid-80’s, the Amiga could do things that no other consumer-class computer could – its graphics, sound, and multi-tasking capabilities were simply unmatched at the time. That initial sense of amazement at the Amiga’s unique capabilities is one of the reasons why the platform continues to have rabid fans some 30+ years later and why a small group of skilled enthusiasts have designed and manufactured a brand-new circuit board, dubbed the Amy-ITX, that brings actual Amiga hardware to the current mini-ITX... Read more...
Crucial recently launched a new series of solid state drives that somewhat defy convention. While a number of other recent releases feature various flavors of TLC NAND, the Crucial BX300 series we’ll be showing you here actually features 3D MLC NAND flash memory. In the current SSD landscape, MLC NAND isn’t typically used for consumer-class SSDs any longer, especially in lower-priced offerings, but Crucial is bucking the trend this time around.The Crucial BX300 series also tops out at a relatively small 480GB capacity. For an affordable boot drive, that’s still plenty of storage for most people, but it’s a far cry from the 1TB – 2TB of other series of SATA SSDs.The full specs for the initial... Read more...
NVIDIA hit a lot of high notes with the Pascal-based GeForce GTX 1080. When the Founder’s Edition launched earlier this summer, it received accolades for its excellent performance, power efficiency, and host of new features. If you’d like a refresher on what’s new in NVIDIA’s Pascal architecture and see what makes the GeForce GTX 1080 Founder’s Edition tick, we’d strongly suggest checking our launch coverage. We’ve got the full scoop laid out for you there.As HOT as the GeForce GTX 1080 Founder’s Edition is, we were eager to see what NVIDIA’s board partners would do with the GTX 1080. The GP104 GPU that is the foundation of the GTX 1080 isn’t particularly power hungry, it doesn’t generate a ton... Read more...
Prices for solid state drives have fallen precipitously over the past year. This is especially true when shopping 2.5-inch form factor SATA SSDs, which is where some of the best values in solid state storage are currently found. That's certainly true of Micron's Crucial brand MX200 line, two of which we have in for review here. First announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this year, the MX200 series debuted in three capacities -- 250GB, 500GB, and 1TB, each priced at under 50 cents per gigabyte. Crucial set the MSRPs at $140 for the 250GB model, $250 for the 500GB SKU, and $470 for the 1TB drive, all three of which are available for considerably less online. At... Read more...
Intel's next-generation Broadwell Y (now known as the Core M processor) is set to ship on schedule for the end of the year. The company, occasionally flagged with criticism of its repeated delays and with its IDF show ramping up next week, is sharing more detail on the upcoming hardware, features and performance characteristics of its new 14nm mobile platform.  We've previously offered up a 14nm deep-dive on how Broadwell Y came to be from a design, process and manufacturing standpoint.  Today, we'll look more closely at how the new Core M processor's feature list, how it will be productized and some high level performance expectations as well. The Core M is a dual-core processor with... Read more...
Back in the day (which, for you youngsters, is a scientific measurement of time reserved for anyone who used to walk to school during snowstorms, uphill, both ways), integrated audio solutions had trouble earning respect. Many enthusiasts considered a sound card an essential piece to the PC building puzzle. Depending on how far your PC gaming roots go back, you may recall fierce competition in the discrete audio space between AdLib and Sound Blaster, two heavy hitters that pretty much pioneered the category. While AdLib would eventually end up as a footnote in the history of PC audio, the Sound Blaster brand lives on. It's been 25 years since the first Sound Blaster card was introduced, a pretty... Read more...
Crucial has been on a tear as of late. In the last few weeks alone, the company has released a couple of new series of solid state drives, one targeting the enthusiast segment (the M550) and the other targeting data centers (the M500DC). Today, Crucial is at it again with the launch of the brand new MX100 series. The Crucial MX100 series of solid state drives is somewhat similar to the M550 in that they both use the same Marvell controller. The MX100, however, it outfitted with more affordable 16nm NAND flash, and as such, the drives are priced more aggressively. Take a look at the full line-up and their specifications in the chart below, and then step through the rest of the review to see how... Read more...
The solid state storage market continues to be one of the hottest in the PC industry. Over the last few weeks alone, we’ve seen the release of the Intel SSD 730 and the OCZ Vertex 460 series of drives and there are still plenty more on the horizon, as many companies ready products with different capacities, form factors and connectivity options. Today is Crucial’s turn to make some noise. The long-time memory maker is launching a new line of solid state drives, dubbed the M550 series, targeted at performance-minded, but budget-conscious enthusiasts. The M550 family of drives will be offered in array of form factors, including mSATA and M.2 flavors, but we’ve got a... Read more...
Over the past few years, Corsair has steadily ramped up the number and types of computer chassis it manufacturers. The high-end 700D and 800D have been followed by a number of midrange products and one uber-expensive deluxe model, the massive 900D. The case we're reviewing today, the 750D, is meant to drop into the sub-$200 price bracket, where it faces competition from Corsair's own 650D mid-tower as well as a number of other chassis from manufacturers. Despite the name, the 750D is actually somewhat smaller than the original 700D/800D family. Those chassis were 24 inches long, 24 inches tall, and 9 inches wide, while the 750D is 21.5 inches long, 22.1 inches tall, and 9.3 inches wide. The other... Read more...
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